Habits of mind

The automated university-as-a-business that Schumpeter desires fails to valorize the qualities of mind that follow from regular writing practices. A good writer of prose is also a good teacher, and can easily detect good ideas in well-written prose. The regular writer, then, does not need to spend as much time “teaching”. The student and the teacher are prepared by their respective efforts to prose the material. A quick bit of interaction. Some simple comments. Even something as a simple as a grade. That’s all it takes to move the student in the right direction. There’s the source.

And yes, that is what I would like back. I gave it up to Reeducation and then to harassment, and to my extreme sense of responsibility.


One thought on “Habits of mind

  1. Is anyone else tired of being asked to repeat that they know they are privileged and do not necessarily deserve what they have more than others who have less? I was born in Seattle, of parents born in San Francisco, both of whom had had the chance to go to college. Born healthy in the Swedish Hospital with good care. Few have been born in a better setting. It goes on from there. I didn’t like my first job and then started slacking on my second assistant professorship, having doubts about my book project; I still got yet another tenure track job when others never got any. I have tenure now, when many do not. I don’t publish as much as some people who aren’t even on the tenure track. I don’t have perfect student evaluations. I do too much service and too much activism, as though nobody had ever told me how to manage a career. I acquiesce to gender norms, doing invisible work a man never would and I shouldn’t, either. I spend both more of my own money on work things than some consider politically correct, and less than others consider gentlemanly. I speak my mind more than is wise. I don’t spend enough time on research and writing because I have been told it is self-indulgent and I feel guilty about that. My courses are more intellectually demanding than is appropriate nowadays. So no, I am not better than those who have never gotten a tenure track job. Yet I still feel I deserve to spend at least some of my time on research and writing, not all of it on activism. Do you? Or am I the only one conflicted like this?

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